News of the passing of Karl ‘Charly’ Lamm has swept through the motorsport family gathered at the Rolex 24 Hours.
Lamm, who died yesterday at the age of 63 after a short illness, stepped down after 40 years at the helm of BMW Team Schnitzer at the end of the 2018 season, finishing his career with victory at the FIA GT World Cup at Macau for Augusto Farfus.
Half-brother of the co-founders of the team – Herbert and the late Josef Schnitzer – Lamm oversaw an astonishing period of success with Team BMW in both endurance and touring car racing. The team’s accolades included an overall Le Mans win in 1999 as well as multiple wins in both the Nürburgring and Spa 24 Hour classics through the 1980s, ’90s and into the 2000s.
There were European and World Touring Car titles too, together with national championship success in the UK, Italy, Japan and in Germany (most notably in the DTM), wins in Asia, and a GT championship in the ALMS.
Among the first to pay tribute was Alex Zanardi:
“Sadly, Charly Lamm, who has always been a great member of the BMW family, a person who gifted BMW with his talent and dedication and contributed to build so many successes to BMW Motorsports, has passed.
“On behalf of the BMW family, we offer his family our best condolences. It’s a sad moment for BMW, because whoever knew Charly it would be very easy to understand how important he was as a friend to all of us. It’s a terrible loss for his family.”
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said:
“Totally unexpectedly we received the news from the Lamm family that Charly Lamm died on Thursday. Our sincere condolences go to the Lamm family and the Schnitzer family.
“It is incredibly difficult to accept that Charly is no longer with us. He had a significant impact on racing at BMW for decades, celebrated major successes with his team, and wowed fans around the world with his unique passion for racing.
“Losing him so suddenly is a shock and a tragedy – particularly because Charly was just about to start a brand-new chapter of his life.
“We mourn the loss of a character who was both valued and loved internationally, who will always be closely linked with BMW Motorsport. Thank you for everything, Charly. We will miss you forever.”